All this post-Oscar buzz has me thinking. And writing. At 5:00am, when I could be still blissfully asleep. But this is a great thing! The debate about the ceremony, and all the great articles and blog posts add fuel to the creative fire.
Here’s the thing: yes, there were parts of the show that were blatantly misogynist. I groaned at the We Saw Your Boobs song. But I was not shocked at all. Because misogyny exists, it’s deeply rooted in our culture, and it seems to me that the best way to rise above it is to simply keep creating art. Here’s some feminist gristle for you to chew on: It was a misogynist show celebrating a misogynist industry in a misogynist town. A turducken of misogyny. So stick a fork in it and keep going. Or better yet, let’s find ways for the turkey to give birth to the chicken, which then gives birth to the duck, in a world where they are all free and able to do their own thing. To create the art they want to create, and do the work they want to do, on a level playing field. Fly birds. Be free.
One of the things that struck me most when I attended the Austin Film Festival last fall was the discourse among the speakers on the Chicks with Bics panel. Aline Brosh McKenna, writer of The Devil Wears Prada, said that she’s aware of the discrimination, but chooses not to let it bother her. She simply keeps working. She said that we, as women, need to learn to do what men do every day, for no apparent reason. Get up, go look yourself in the mirror, and tell yourself that you are awesome. Seriously. Go do it right now. It’s harder than you think. I usually crack up laughing when I do it, but I’ve been doing it. Now go tell your sister to do it. And tell your sister’s sister too. I asked my husband the other day what stories he tells himself when he’s feeling low, or when problems seem overwhelming. He said he imagines himself to be a king or a warrior, and he sees himself fighting them and winning. What??!! Amazing. I’m going to try that too. Why does this come naturally to men, and why are woman programmed so differently? We too often tear ourselves down, and beat ourselves up, and it’s time to stop.
I choose to live in Seattle because it’s a creative magnet. Our city is one of the most literary in the country, and the writing, film and art that is generated here is top-notch. We really do value art more than commerce, and that makes all the difference. Check out the amazing films that Lynn Shelton, Megan Griffiths, Sue Corcoran, and Lacey Levitt are making.
Here are some of the positive things about the recent Oscar show: The Film School raised money to fund scholarships and mentoring at its Oscar Gala at The Triple Door. Oscar parties were held around the world where friends gathered to celebrate the art form that combines all other art forms. Great debates are being had right now about misogyny and what we can do to combat it. Women: I salute you. We need you on the front lines of this fight. Don’t let it stop you—let it inspire you to keep going. Keep making your films. Keep telling your stories. Write on!